India’s energy demand has significantly increased and in the coming years, it will reach 11% of the global demand as compared to 5% currently, said Prime Minister Narendra Modi while inaugurating India Energy Week (IEW) 2023 in Bengaluru on Monday.
“Demand for energy in the country has grown significantly. This offers opportunities for energy companies to invest in and collaborate with energy firms in the country,’‘ he said.
The energy sector played a major role in deciding the future of the world in the 21st century and India was one of the strongest voices today in developing new resources of energy and in the energy transition, the Prime Minister stated. Also, the country has a chunky class of aspirational population and energy would play an important role in fulfilling the aspirations of these people, in fact, energy demand would be highest globally in India in coming years, Mr. Modi added, quoting the International Energy Agency.
He said the government, under the National Green Hydrogen Mission, had set aside ₹1 lakh crore for green hydrogen. The country was taking lead in the green hydrogen space, and would replace grey hydrogen (created from natural gas, or methane, using steam methane reformation but without capturing the greenhouse gases made in the process), to increase its share to 25% in the next five years.
Addressing a large audience of energy experts and captains of global energy companies, Mr. Modi said global and domestic investors should increase their presence in fossil fuel exploration in the country. Some 10 lakh square kilometres of ‘no-go zones’ were freed for energy exploration, he added.
Domestic exploration of fuels and an increase in production of such fuels was one of the focus areas for the energy sector in the country. “Based on investor sentiment we have reduced no-go areas in the country by 10 lakh square kms to facilitate exploration in inaccessible areas of the country,’‘ he said.
The country’s energy sector also focused on verticals such as supply diversification, expansion of bio-fuel, ethanol, solar and other alternative energy sources, and adoption of electric vehicles or hydrogen-based fuels for decarbonisation, the Prime Minister stated. According to the Prime Minister, in 2014, the length of the gas pipeline in India was around 14,000 kilometers, now it was over 22,000 km and the network was expected to cross 35,000 km in the next four to five years.
Changing energy landscape
Speaking at the opening session of the event, Hardeep Singh Puri, Union Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas, and Housing and Urban Affairs, said the country’s energy landscape had undergone significant shifts in recent years. “To accommodate these changes, the government is prepared to play a catalyst in accelerating adoption of low-carbon options, including biofuels, electric vehicles, and green hydrogen,’‘ he said.
Collaboration and transition towards low-carbon energy was crucial in the country’s achievement of its climate change targets, he added.
IEW 2023, touted as India’s first comprehensive energy event, covering the entire value chain in its year of G20 presidency, is designed to ensure energy security, affordability and accessibility, according to Mr. Puri.